It’s finally over.
The opening bell has sounded and the daily classroom shuffle has begun for another 180 day parade.
The football seasons have kicked off.
The trash talking and rivalries are already in full swing.
Some lucky Fairfield County students are preparing for their first school dance.
Parents have shared their expectations with students (that’s a hint for those of you parents who haven’t already had that talk).
Teachers have shared their expectations with students.
Administrators have shared their expectations with students. Even the bus drivers have shared their expectations with students. But, with whom have the students shared their expectations?
What is it that students really expect to gain from another year in school?
Sure, any student can tell you that she expects to learn something.
Every student plans for his next year to be better than last year.
In measurable terms, what does it mean?
How do students really know when they’ve learned something new?
What’s the best way to tell when the thinking muscle is getting proper exercise?
These questions are, and will be, the source of much frustration for students, teachers, parents and administrators for this and every school year to come.
Because the underlying questions are basically, “Why do kids come to school?” and “What are they getting when they are at school?”
Anybody who wants to try to answer those two questions, just send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While parents and education folks view school as the place for the 3R’s (readin’, ritin’ and rithmetic), students will see those three R’s and throw in a couple of F’s (fellowship and fun).
Why can’t learning be fun?
Students have fun learning how to play soccer, how to execute jiujutsu moves or how to play musical instruments.
These are challenging tasks, but every year, kids as young as four or five readily accept the challenges.
The difference in these things and what goes on in the classroom can be attributed to student perception and student interest.
Some students really love their science classes; others love Literature or history. Whatever it is that students love, it causes them to perform at a much higher level.
Sometimes the performance difference can equate to two or three letter grades.
Instead of sitting in class wasting time by wondering “why do I have to learn this?” try listening to what is going on.
I know that getting interested sometimes means allowing your mind to imagine places outside of your reality.
Getting interested may mean you’re the only kid on your block, or in your neighborhood, that likes this or likes that. So what!?
Be who you want to be.
Go to school because you like school.
Sit in the front because you like the class.
Feel free to be a nerd, or dancer or wrenchhead or cheerleader or the smartest kid in the class.
Be the leader-blaze a new trail!.
Let others decide whether or not they are going to follow you.
Expect that you will succeed.
Expect people to come and go in your life.
Learn what your interests are and who supports your involvement in those interests.
Whatever you decide to do, just be sure you know why you’ve made that decision.